The BC Lions could begin the 2009 season without one of the game's most dominant left tackles.
Potential free agent lineman Rob Murphy was a guest on Team 1040 Sports Radio in Vancouver on Tuesday and said he expects to test the CFL free agency in February.
''You don't have to read the tea leaves,'' Murphy said. ''I'm simply just going through all my options with my wife. I love being a Lion, I love playing for Wally (Buono). It's been the best three years of my football career, I've had a blast, and the guys in the locker room are awesome. It would be great for me to come back, but I have to explore everything.''
Murphy and his wife had triplets last summer and Murphy made a promise that he would test free agency when his contract expired, with the idea that an Eastern team might make travel back to their families in Buffalo a little easier.
''I made a promise to my wife when I signed this contract two years ago, that if I still wanted to play and we had a family I would have to explore those options,'' Murphy said in the interview. ''I talked to Wally about it man-to-man; he's a family man and he understands it. I made it clear to him that I'm not using this as leverage for more money. I just turned 32 two days ago, I have three kids now, and it's more of a family situation.''
Murphy said he has an offer on the table from general manager and head coach Wally Buono that would make him the highest paid lineman in the CFL.
''I've heard a lot of speculation that 'when an athlete says it's not about the money, it's about the money' and I just want to make things straight here that if I come back, Wally's already made me an offer that continues to make me the highest paid lineman in the league, so it's definitely not about money.''
The free agent period begins at 12:01am et on February 16.
With families in Buffalo it only makes sense to come east to Toronto or Hamilton.
With triplets it only makes sense to take the biggest offer.
With Jonta Woodard playing left tackle with the Argos, it only makes sense to sign with Hamilton.